Tracy Claeys in an interview with ESPN's Outside the Lines Thursday questioned the fairness of Title IX-mandated investigations that universities use.
The ex-Gophers football coach was fired Tuesday in part because of a Title IX investigation of alleged sexual assault that led to the suspension of 10 football players.
“The university had the right to get rid of me and that’s their choice,” Claeys said. “But the bigger thing is we bring to light this whole process and the Title IX law that does put universities in a tight bind, and hopefully this will be looked at across the country.”
Claeys said the Gophers football boycott was about standing up for fairness in the process. Claeys expressed Thursday a similar sentiment the players voiced by questioning why a university investigation would overrule the results of a police investigation.
“Any type of sexual assault or sexual misconduct is serious and needs to be looked at, and you have it looked at and investigated by law enforcement and people trained to investigate that, and they come back with one decision. And it comes back another way in a [Title IX] process that our kids didn’t feel fair. I don’t know how that trumps an all-out police investigation.
“My personal belief, and this is just me on my own, I don’t know if we want a single office on any campus handling anything that would be like a felony-type of charge that will change a kid’s life forever. I’ve seen some of these things on transcripts going through recruiting and transfer kids, some of the things that are put on these transcripts when these kids go through these investigations, these kids have no chance. And there was never any type of criminal charges filed against them. When schools get these and see what’s on them in admissions, they’re hampering these kids for life.
“My own belief is that shouldn’t be handled on campus when you’ve got a chance of ruining a kid’s life.”
Claeys added that many student-athletes don’t understand what rules and guidelines they agree to when signing their scholarship. If he coaches again, he would encourage a process that helps players better understand the law and the university’s rules.
“I think the kids [result of the boycott] got the things that [the administration] needs to do and we’ve also brought light to the process,” Claeys said. “That whole [Title IX] process just needs to be looked at to getting fairness in the system for every student that chooses a university.”